Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Movie Review: All-Star Superman

Hey!  The latest DC Comics direct-to-DVD animated film is now available!  And you know what that means...an afternoon of watching it and reviewing it for this here blog!  So, let's take a look at....

All-Star Superman

Directed by Sam Liu

Starring the voices of James Denton, Christina Hendricks, Anthonly LaPaglia, Ed Asner, Linda Cardellini, Alexis Denisof, Arnold Vosloo, and Finola Hughes.

Backstory:  So, All-Star Superman is generally regarded as one of the greatest comic books of the past five years.  It was a huge seller, won a slew of awards, and perhaps the highest praise was when my best friend, a self-described Marvel zombie, declared it one of the best things ever.  When it was announced that it was next in line to be adapted into a direct-to-DVD animated film, I knew it was finally time to read it for myself.  I checked it out of my local library back in the fall, and was entranced with it.  So the big question now:  how well does the animated film adaptation hold up?

Plot:  When Lex Luthor sabotages a manned mission to the Sun, Superman flies off to save it.  But, the whole thing turns out to be a trap.  Because Superman gets his powers from the Sun, being so close to the Sun supercharges Superman.  Not able to handle all the power, Superman's body starts to burn itself out.  In short, Superman is now slowly dying.  Armed with this knowledge, Superman sets out to get his super-affairs in order, including finally revealing his true identity to Lois Lane and giving her a night she'll never forget, tending to the bottle city of Kandor, finding a suitable replacement for himself in the form of two former Kryptonian astronauts, and one final, epic confrontation with Lex Luthor.  Is this how it all ends for the Man of Steel? 

What I Liked:  This is about as faithful an adaptation you can hope for.  I'm sure some scenes weren't written for the screen as much as they were just given an issue of the comic and told, "Here, just do this."  Animation, as always, is really good.  Hendricks, aka "the redhead with the rack on Mad Man," is a very spry, witty, and flirtatious Lois Lane, and LaPaglia, aka "that badass cop on Without a Trace," does a nice evil turn as Luthor. 

What I Didn't Like:  Well, since the graphic novel was originally published as a 12-issue mini-series, as you can imagine, the plot is episodic as hell.  And they had to leave out some of my favourite issues/episodes!  As I've complained before, I don't know who the hell decided that all these direct-to-DVD animated films have to top out at 75 minutes, but some times, that's just too short for some of these stories.  They had to make a few tweaks to the plot to get it that short...how they changed the end just doesn't sit right with me.  And I know Superman's supposed to be filled with this inner peace as he faces his end, but Denton as Superman just comes across as sleepy. 

Final Verdict:  As I said, I have a few quibbles with how they changed the end, but the end still does manage to give me goosebumps.  Wonder Woman is still my favourite, but this is a close second. 

3 Nibs

Bonus Features:  Bonus features on the Blu-Ray include two featurettes on the creation of the original graphic novel, a running commentary with Bruce Timm (the film's producer) and Grant Morrison (writer of the original graphic novel), a preview of the next film Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, and 2 bonus episodes of Superman: The Animated Series

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The New Wonder Woman

So, David E. Kelley, the creator of such classic legal shows like Ally McBeal, The Practice, Boston Legal and the new show Harry's Law, is the latest one to try to bring Wonder Woman to life.  He's currently working on a new Wonder Woman TV show.  A script for a pilot episode has been written, and today it's been announced who'll be playing the new Wonder Woman...Adrianne Palicki.  She was one of the stars of Friday Night Lights and will soon be in the remake of Red Dawn

I'm not too sure about this project...everything I've read online isn't giving me a lot of confidence.  Instead of being Diana, princess of the Amazons and the Amazon's chosen ambassador to the world, Wonder Woman now adopts the secret identy of Diana Thymescera, the president and CEO of Thymescera Industries.  

In between her superheroics, we get to see Diana try to balance her life between being a high-powered corporate CEO and her not-too-successful love life...you know, the kind of stuff that was revolutionary when Kelley was doing it in season 1 of Ally McBeal, but starting to feel cliched by season 3 of Ally McBeal.  Apparently, the script is even full of such "grrrl power" cliches like having Wonder Woman listen to Beyonce's Single Ladies while charging into battle. 

I don't know dude.  I still think an incredibly fantastic Wonder Woman movie can be made, and the fact that we're going to be getting Ally McWonder Woman instead just doesn't sit right. 

As with all my rants about Wonder Woman, I'll end by recommending you check out the 2009, straight-to-DVD animated film, which is the best straight-to-DVD animated film that DC Comics has produced so far.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My First Doctor

Yay!  One of my special ordered DVDs arrived today!  And since I'm fighting a cold and everything, what better way to spend an afternoon than curled up on the couch, under a warm blankie and with a warm cup of Neo Citran, and watch said DVD?  And what is that DVD?  Doctor Who: The Movie!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Latest Targ's Up!

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

And we just keep truckin' along here on U62: The Targ.

Today, I bring you Episode 4.18:  Little Things, Little Show, in which I pontificate on pine tree air fresheners, the special effects of Inception, and 12 Pokemon movies!

For Fishing in the Discount Bin, we're still working our way through Christmas movies, so we're at The Sound of Music, and we recap the week's movie news

Give it a listen!

Click here to go download it!

Head here to subscribe in iTunes!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Movie Review -- Pokemon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life

FINALLY!  For reasons I'm too lazy to look up on Google, this DVD was supposed to come out a year ago, but didn't.  When this thing finally was available for pre-order on Amazon.ca back at Christmastime, I put in my order.  And now, it's here it's here it's here!  So, let's get to it!

Pokemon:  Arceus and the Jewel of Life

Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama; English translation directed by Tom Wayland

Starring the voices of Sarah Natochenny, Bill Rogers, Emily Bauer, Michelle Knotz, Jimmy Zoppi, Evelyn Lanto, Dan Green, and Jason Griffith

Backstory:  Dude, I don't know what I was so obsessed with getting this.  I don't even watch the cartoon that much anymore.  It comes on at 2PM on Saturday afternoon now, and I'm usually doing something better.  Maybe it's the fact that, with the two Pokemon movies before this one, they all form a trilogy, and I just had to know how the whole thing ended.  All I know is, with the arrival of this from Amazon.ca, my collection of every Pokemon movie is complete.  Was it worth the extra year wait, though?

Plot:  Centuries ago, the town of Machina was on the verge of destruction from a meteor.  But, the pokemon Arceus appeared and destroyed the meteor.  Stunned at the wasteland that Machina had become, Arceus used a potion of his life force to forge the Jewel of Life, and with it, Damos, the ruler of Machina, was able to revitalilze the land.  But, when the time came for Damos to return the Jewel of Life to Arceus, Damos betrayed Arceus and attacked so as to keep the Jewel.  Wounded, Arceus retreated to a parallel dimension to heal, and swore one day he would have his vengeance on humanity.  In the present day, Ash, Pikachu and company wander into Machina, and meet Sheena, the guardian of Machina's ruins and a descendant of Damos.  Turns out the temporal distortions of the past two films signaled the impending return of Arceus, and Sheena seeks to return the Jewel of Life to make up for her ancestor's crime.  But when the Jewel Sheena tries to return turns out to be a fake, Ash, Pikachu, Sheena, and all the rest are thrown back in time to prevent Damos from betraying Arceus in the first place.  Can history be re-written?  Can they save Machina and the world?

What I Liked:  As with the past batch of Pokemon films, this one's location was inspired by a real life location...this time around, Athens and the outlying Greek countryside.  And it does look gorgeous.  There's good music, and intriguing premise and plot.  And it almost turns into a Godzilla movie with all the giant pokemon doing battle with each other. 

What I Didn't Like:  As Pokemon films go, it's awfully talky, and the time travel narrative doesn't help much.  We're told a story of what happened in the past, and then, later in the film, we go back in time and act it out.  It gets rather repetitive. 

Final Verdict:  It doesn't stray from the Pokemon formula.  It's exactly what you expect, and offers no surprises.  And with this, I think I may finally be done with the franchise.

2 Nibs

DVD Bonus Materials:  In the immortal words of Kuni from UHF:  "NOTHING!  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!" 

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Super Bowl Movie Spots!

I've been putting off blogging about this for a while, but after chatting with a friend about this on IM, I figured it was time to sit down and do it.

I'm one of those guys who watches the Super Bowl for the commercials, and especially since  Hollywood has started putting together some Super Bowl spots for their summer blockbusters, giving us the first glimpse of a lot of these films.

So, here are the Super Bowl movie spots I was looking forward to, and my thoughts on them!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Latest Targ's Up!

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

I came to a startling realization. Last week's episode was my 200th episode! 200 episodes I've been doing this now!

So we take a moment to celebrate that fact in Episode 4.17: Formula 201. We also discuss the big Superman casting, and discuss the future of distribution!

For the stuff I do in every show, this week on Fishing in the Discount Bin I share my thoughts on Die Hard, and What's Wrong with Society finally returns with an angry rant about Groundhog's Day.

Give it a listen!

Click here to go download it!

Head here to subscribe in iTunes!

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